By Eugene Davis
The Youth Employment Agency (YEA) has created 71,500 direct and indirect jobs in six months, closing in on their 84,000 expected target, CEO of the agency Kofi Agyepong has announced.
According to a World Bank report, Ghana is faced with 12% youth unemployment and more than 50% underemployment, both higher than overall unemployment rates in Sub-Saharan African countries. Despite major investments by both government and private sector, this challenge will intensify if job opportunities remain limited.
As part of moves to address this, the YEA last Friday passed out 500 newly recruited Prison Office Assistants at Ankarful in the Central Region.
Speaking at the event, the CEO of YEA, Mr. Kofi Agyepong said “these 500 newly recruited Prison Office Assistants add up to a total of 71,500 direct and indirect jobs created by the Youth Employment Agency as at mid-year 2023.”
He also indicated that for the first time, many of these youth will be recruited into the mainstream Prison Service for a permanent employment.
“That is the exit strategy we have been desiring for you and we have worked so hard to achieve that. We have concluded discussions with the service, that all recruits with vocational and technical skills will be absorbed. This is an end to the two-year cycle that provides you with no permanent placement.”
So far, the Agency has engaged 15,000 Community Police Assistants, 6,000 Community Health Assistants, 1,500 Prison Office Assistants, 6,000 Insurance workers with the National Insurance Commission, 4,000 jobs in the Cocoa Rehabilitation Programme, 5,000 training and set-ups with National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP), 45,000 sanitation workers and hundreds of jobs through our Job Centre partnerships with companies in the private sector.
Mr. Agyepong also disclosed that as at June 23, 2023, the agency has paid all outstanding beneficiary allowances and owes no one, “We are up to date with all payments to our cherished beneficiaries.”
In the next few weeks, Mr.Agyepong revealed that the YEA will recruit 2,000 young people to be trained in Data and financial technology and immediately deploy them to financial institutions through its partnership with Bluespace Innovation Hub.
Another set of 5,220 young men and women will be recruited to augment government’s strategic plan to mobilise revenue through property rates.
“We are in discussions with the Ministry of Finance, Ghana Revenue Authority and City Digital Solutions to conclude on a legal framework that will guide the employment relationship. Creating jobs requires a great deal of innovation and we are committed to doing just that.”he noted.
The Agency established under the Youth Employment Act 2015 (Act 887) to empower young people to contribute meaningfully to the socio-economic and sustainable development of the nation.
Its objective is to support the youth between the ages of 15 to 35 years through skills training and internship modules to transit from a situation of unemployment to that of employment.